Bang & Olufsen refreshes its popular A1 Bluetooth speaker with Alexa

Nearly 4-years to the day from its original release, the beloved Bang & Olufsen A1 speaker is getting a notable upgrade today. While the market is flooded with speakers of a similar caliber, it’s the sleek and premium design that B&O has come to be revered for that really makes it stand out from the competition. Famously, the first-generation was one of the first Bluetooth speakers out there with USB-C charging. Bang & Olufsen is refreshing the A1 with a new generation today adding Alexa to the party alongside a new waterproof design. It’s also slightly smaller than the first-generation model. Hit the jump for full details, pricing, availability, and more.

Bang & Olufsen brings Alexa to the A1

There’s a host of upgrades coming to Bang & Olufsen’s A1 speaker, but perhaps none more intriguing than the inclusion of Alexa. Amazon’s voice assistant has been making its way to more and more devices over the last year, so B&O entering the mix isn’t stunning. But for a brand known for high-end design, but not so much on the integrated smarts, this addition is noteworthy.

A three microphone array system allows users to interact with Alexa as you’d guess. However, there is one caveat. Because this speaker has Bluetooth functionality only, and not Wi-Fi, you’ll need to be paired up with a smartphone to access these features. It’s a small bump in the road, but in practice may not be as limiting as you’d think. Once paired initially, anytime the speaker is turned on it will revert back to your most recent smartphone connection, which should take any extra work out of the equation.

Plenty of other features too

B&O has long been known for its stylish designs and high-end materials. This rings true for the latest A1 speaker, much like it did for the original. Notable upgrades this time around include a slightly slimmed-down design, although that’s not the major selling point for the second-generation model.

A new waterproof design makes the A1 a great option for the pool this year. However, the addition of a more robust build and voice assistant have come at a cost to battery life, which has dropped from 24-hours on the original to 18 on the second-generation.

Available today

The latest creation from Bang & Olufsen is available today for $250. You’ll have your choice of different colors on the A1, including Grey Mist or Black Anthracite.

9to5Toys’ Take

There’s a lot to like here on Bang & Olufsen’s latest release. Yet another beauty from an aesthetics point of view. The addition of Alexa in a high-end speaker is welcome despite the reduction in battery life.

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